Thursday 10 October 2013

An Exquisite English Country Garden Spring Wedding - The Reception

After all the excitement of the Wedding Blog Awards, I completely failed to publish the second half of Jo and Luke's incredible wedding. And you've got to see these amazing pictures, as they're chock-a-block with wedding inspiration. Jo chose a beautiful garden theme, which fitted perfectly with their Friars Court wedding venue. The owner is clearly some sort of wedding decoration genius, as he's created a wonderful romantic world of swinging lanterns and vintage props. There's so many stealworthy ideas, it's hard to pick my favourite, but....{deep breath}....I love the swinging white lanterns, the 14 real, blossoming cherry trees lining the marquee, the tables named after flowers, the mossy logs, the memory table {complete with budget-savvy Waitrose cake}, and the wooden LOVE hearts hanging off the water bottles. Don't miss Jo's answers to the Before the Big Day Bride's Questionnaire, they're full of wedding inspiration, and take a look at their wedding photographer, Lily Sawyer's website - she's a serious talent!

We got married in Alvescot Church on 27th April 2013 near where I grew up. For the reception, we wanted something near to the church, and we were fortunate enough to find the most incredible venue available in the next village. Friars Court is an old country manor, and we held our reception in the gardens and the garden room. 

We also had a marquee on the old tennis courts. We wanted to make the most of being in the countryside - particularly for our friends from London. I wanted it to be an extension of my childhood - of which I have such happy memories. 

We gave several ideas to the chap that runs the venue and then he asked for props, and other little things that we had bought, or were given, or already owned. He then used everything to create the wedding decorations. 

As it was April and the winter had been cold, we knew there wouldn't be many flowers available, and those that were would be expensive. We wanted it to be a simple as possible really, and looking at some pictures, I got the idea of using lots of ivy and moss as decorations.

We chose a country garden wedding theme, with a touch of vintage. I always had the idea of dusky pinks and purples, but no specific colour scheme, just mix and match - or things we liked. We hired fourteen real cherry trees to line the marquee.

Some of my friends call me a typical English rose, and I adore afternoon tea - so a running theme in our stationery, and wedding flowers was the tea rose.  I love the countryside and I wanted that to be part of our day as well. 

We had plenty of DIY projects - our wedding invitations, order of services, place settings, table plans, menus, table decorations, favours, lots of props around the reception venue. 

Paul and I designed all our wedding stationery, along with my Mum and my sister. Even my Dad helped put it all together.

Our wedding florist was Eden Flowers in Burford, which is a nearby town. Our florist was incredible, and took my ideas and choices, and made helpful suggestions. She did all the bouquets and the button holes. 

All other flowers - for the church and our reception venue - were arranged by my family and some very talented ladies at the church.

Each of our tables was named after a different flower - primrose, muscari, lily, sweat-pea, etc. We used little bouquets of each bloom to decorate the tables, along with ivy and candles in hurricane lanterns.

To carry on the garden theme and add a personal touch, my Mum and I made heart-shaped lavender bags for wedding favours for the ladies. The men received a miniature pot of English honey. We also used these as our place-markers, by tying little rose-stamped luggage tag to each one.

I loved planning my wedding - although sometimes things felt like they would never get sorted. For example my Mum went to the local garden centre, and managed to get the owner to loan us some trees for the marquee. The weekend before the wedding we went to choose them, and none of them were in bud, let alone covered with nice green leaves.

Fortunately it was even better timing than we could have hoped for, as by the wedding all the trees were in blossom. My Mum was so generous in all ways, and therefore took any stresses that I could have had away.

My advice to future brides would be enjoy it! Make the most of it. Don't be surprised by how generous family and friends will be with their time. If you see something you like, or have an idea, jot it down - because you'll blink and it'll be gone. This is advice I didn't follow - but set a day before the wedding to have everything sorted, then try and relax. The person who gave me this advice was right, I didn't notice the things that we forgot about, and our guests didn't notice either.

We created a memory table to display our wedding cake and added lots of family photos, and photos of our guests - many of them from their own wedding days. Vintage books, jam-jar candles and other props added to the look.

For our wedding cake, we just wanted something simple - and who can resist polka-dots! It was from Waitrose, and we decorated the top with the same flowers as were in our bouquets.

Our wedding photographer was Lily Sawyer. A friend of mine had her photograph her wedding, and I saw the photos and they were amazing. 

I looked Lily up online, and there was one photo that was breathtaking, and I thought then that I knew if I ever got married I would want her to photograph my wedding. So when I got engaged, the first thing we decided was the photographer!

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1 comment :

  1. Congratulation for both of you :))) stay inlove.. I love your wedding theme ^^ beautiful bride :))


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